IWD 2021 at TMD

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD), a day that celebrates the achievements of women and stands as a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

A century-old initiative, IWD is a year-long commitment to supporting and raising up women across all walks of life, with this year’s theme being #ChooseToChallenge because [a] challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.

TMD is committed to helping women succeed, including our own team. We are proud to be a workplace that has female-identifying employees making up nearly half of our team and a commitment to promoting more women in tech, digital, and leadership roles, places where women are typically underrepresented.

IWD Perspectives and Commitments from our Team

To honour IWD 2021, we asked members of our team to share their thoughts and how they will support the cause and #ChooseToChallenge.

Celebrate and Advocate for all Women

Karen Van Hunnik

“For me, IWD day is an occasion to celebrate the wonderful women in my life who have not only inspired me but supported me throughout my many life journeys. It’s a day that reminds me that my voice is important, and I must always speak up when I witness gender bias and inequality.

Admittedly, there are times when I think about how unfortunate it is that in 2021, we need an occasion to highlight the issues and challenges that still exist for women.

So, today and every day, I challenge myself to continually become a better advocate and mentor so that one day IWD is truly a celebration of when these biases and inequalities no longer exist due to the continual attention and efforts made to eradicate them. #ChoosetoChallenge

– Karen Van Hunnik

What Women Naturally Bring to the Table

Taylor Lampkin

“This IWD, I #ChooseToChallenge the woman masking her true self in the workplace.

The woman who backspaces the period at the end of her sentences and instead opts for an exclamation point and smiley face to ensure she isn’t coming across too strong in her emails.

The woman who downplays the value of her soft skill set, believing that the technical skills of the men in the room far outweigh hers.

The woman who ignores her empathetic instincts, hoping that a cold, emotionless demeanour will advance her further up the rungs.

The woman who doesn’t react to gender bias because she doesn’t want to be labelled as difficult.

I challenge that woman to embrace her direct communication style, to stop denying the value of her skill set, to lead with heart, to speak up and advocate for herself and other women.

And when she does, I #ChooseToChallenge her employer to encourage her. To support her. To provide her with opportunity.  

It’s time to throw out the notion that women have to act like men in order to achieve success in their careers. Gender equality in the workplace is about recognizing that what women naturally bring to the table is valuable and supporting them enough to take the ‘male’ mask off.”

– Taylor Lampkin

Appreciating all the Strong Women

Katie Arts

“International Women’s Day to me is an opportunity to reflect on the accomplishments made for women’s rights and to recognize the opportunities for future improvement. I also think it’s a day to celebrate being a woman and appreciating all the strong women in our world.

TMD hiring me as the sole female designer on the creative team shows that together we are choosing to challenge and break barriers. I feel fortunate to work in an environment where I feel equal, valued, and comfortable to be myself.”

– Kaitlin Arts

Do More Than Talk

Jeff Timmins with his wife and daughter.

“IWD is an incredibly important day to highlight what we should be recognizing every day. We are all equal and this world we live in will be better without barriers and biases towards women. 

My personal pledge is to look inside myself to see how I can help to do my part, motivate others and be a role model to create a better, fair and equal world that my amazing wife, my daughter, my mother, and the women I work with can be proud to live in. 

My commitment is to do more than talk or post or preach about IWD.  I will work to create awareness, action, and impact everywhere I can because while we have made great strides, we are far from done.

‘Women make the world go round’ and our collective challenge is to achieve a point where we no longer need IWD because we have reached equality, we have eliminated barriers and biases. 

My challenge is to not stop doing my part until we get there…and then we can really celebrate!”

– Jeff Timmins

Encourage Young Women

Zoe Tsounis

“International Women’s Day is more than just a day. Not only does it celebrate the achievements of women, but it reminds us that there is still a long way to go to achieve true equality, especially in the workplace.

I #ChooseToChallenge young women who are newly entering the workforce to remember that we have strong voices and valid opinions that need to be heard, and to always support fellow female colleagues.

I am very inspired by women in leadership or technology roles who continue to challenge gender bias and speak their minds.”

– Zoe Tsounis

I Will Share the Load

Stephen Barrigar and his family.

“Evelyn was the first person in her family to go to university. She studied Math and Physics. She worked on one of Canada’s first computers. She worked in a research lab to help her partner pay for his graduate school. She then gave it all up to raise a family. Evelyn is my mother.

I have never had to question whether I can “have it all”, a family and a career. I never had to make the tough decision to give up a career, to be selfless, to ask tough questions.  

I will share the load.

This International Women’s Day I will ask tough questions. I will do more. I will listen. I will act. I will remember that words matter. I will attempt to stop saying “hey guys” as often as I do.

I will share the load.

I will be supportive. I will create opportunities. I will challenge myself to speak candidly about inequality. I will promote. I will encourage. 

I will share the load.   

I think about my mom’s choice, about being a pioneer. I think about how she remains an important influence on my life. I also think about being self-aware and I know I can do more.

I will share the load.

Today, my wife and I both enjoy thriving careers, we share family duties, support each other – there has been progress, but I realize her path has been more challenging than mine.

I will share the load.

Trotting out the “my mom/wife/daughter” card implying that only women that we have a defined relationship matter – this is not good enough. But it is because of the strong women in my life, I know that every woman matters – women of colour, trans women, first nations women.

I will share the load.”

– Stephen Barrigar

TMD’s Commitment

We stand with our team, our clients and partners, our families, friends, and peers. We #ChooseToChallenge and do our part to challenge inequality, call out bias, question stereotypes and help forge an inclusive world. Not just today, but every day. How we live. How we work. How we create a future where anything less is absolutely unacceptable.

So, how will you #ChooseToChallenge?